Heads Up!

Like horses, dogs gallop and there are 2 kinds of gallops, probably a few more, but let’s just talk about two:

Head Down

If you throw a lot of rollers, or you have a super drivey disc killer, or experience Premature Ejumpulation, you probably have a head down gallop going on. The head down gallop means they are running like hell! Most dogs cannot change leads or collect while galloping with the head down. Just as a basketball player who is sprinting as fast as possible cannot collect for a dunk dog’s can’t collect for a decent leap while sprinting as fast as they can with that head down gallop.

Heads Up

There is also a heads up gallop, still running, and perhaps a sprint, but not as fast as the dog can move. For some people this only happens when the dog is tired. The heads up gallop should happen because the dog has appropriate expectations and has plenty of time to approach and catch a well placed target.

Watch Yachi and Shaun Hirai play. Watch the dogs. There is a total heads up gallop going on there. Their dogs move smoothly and purposefully with their heads up, not fast at all. They are patient and reading the situation.

Premature ejumpulation, leaping under the disc, and tipping the disc from underneath are all caused by over pursuit, usually a head down gallop.When the dog leaves the handler with the head down, running like crazy, he cannot collect. He cannot change leads. It takes several yards for the dog to back the speed off to have control necessary to make a quality leap. Combine the head down gallop with a more than healthy desire to bite a disc (Malinois and Cattle Dog handlers, this probably means you…) and it’s a recipe for disaster in terms of catch percentage on longer throws.

Next time I’ll go into detail about teaching your dog to run with a Heads Up gallop.

Make sure to let me know what you think by dropping a comment below.

Related Articles

Throwing With Intent

Throwing with Intent is throwing a disc to your dog with the intent to make them look good. Throwing the disc to promote a big leap, to hit the dog in stride on the run or throwing a disc that your dog is going to flip for 10 yards away, is the sign of a mature handler.


  1. nice video ron for a bigginer like me this video help’s alot

    1. Right on Chardy!
      Our pre-class conversation was the genesis of these blog posts.
      Thanks for reading.

  2. Good call! My dog loves to drive head down, so we’ll work on that.

    1. We’ll be addressing this in week 3. There’s a bit more to it than that…

    2. Oh, and that’s not to say you can’t or should not work on it, but just know that we’re going to do more on it in the near future.

Comments are closed.